Yesterday evening Chris Packham was in conversation with Alison Johnstone MSP of the Scottish Greens, talking about the future of driven grouse shooting in Scotland.
This took place as part of the joint e-action campaign by Wild Justice, RSPB and Hen Harrier Action to encourage UK voters to contact their elected representatives principally about tackling the ongoing illegal killing of birds of prey on driven grouse moors. Yesterday the total soared past 100,000 emails.
[Alison Johnstone MSP, photo via Scottish Greens]
This conversation between Chris and Alison is well worth a listen.
Here are some highlights:
Chris Packham: ‘A 100,000 emails, Alison, what has this meant to elected representatives who’ve come in, opened their computer inbox and sat down and seen them?‘
Alison Johnstone: ‘It’s left elected representatives like myself in no doubt whatsoever as to the strength of public feeling.
We know that people want action, they’re absolutely sick to the back teeth of hearing that another bird of prey has been persecuted. This afternoon I went in to my Parliamentary inbox and I would say every couple of minutes I’m receiving one of these emails.
In Parliament during the week, one of my colleagues said, ‘Oh, could you..’ (I would say not a Green colleague of course), one of my colleagues laughingly said, ‘Oh, could you not do anything to stop those emails coming in?’ And I said, ‘You know, I’d really like to claim credit for that fabulous campaign but that’s down to the RSPB, Wild Justice and Hen Harrier Action’. But there is no doubt at all the message is getting across loud and clear, so great work!‘
Incidentally, Alison’s colleague Mark Ruskell MSP tweeted this morning that he’d received ‘well over 500 emails’ from his own constituents on this topic:
Alison Johnstone: ‘I think the Scottish Government is beginning to understand now that this is actually a vote winner for them.
If they listened to what really concerns people in Scotland, the fact that they’ve received so many emails in recent days about the persecution of birds of prey, when you think about all the other challenges we’re currently facing with Covid 19 pandemic, with the potential of a looming no-deal Brexit, but people still want them to protect the environment, I think that says a lot‘.
The conversation, which also included issues such as the Werritty Review and Alison’s recent success at securing protection for mountain hares (here) but the Scottish Government’s subsequent ‘dragging of feet’ to enact it (here) can be watched in full below (if you can’t access it go to Chris’s social media pages to find the recording):
The e-action currently stands at over 117,000. It closes on tomorrow (Monday 31st Aug) at midnight. As Alison and other politicians have said, every single email counts so please consider joining in if you haven’t already – CLICK HERE.